The Kinetic Jacket and Pants from Rab line up in the British brand’s new touring-specific Khroma collection. Designed for backcountry skiers looking for waterproof protection and max breathability, the Kinetic combo has a soft ‘hardshell’ construction making it ideal for spring skiing – a slightly less rugged alternative to the also-new Khroma GTX line.

The jacket is relatively light yet big and burly enough – in the cut, rather than the weight – to be a proper hardshell. The new 20D Proflex fabric is supple, breathable and stretchy enough to feel like softshell; yet waterproof enough to compete with any hardshell. And, oh man, did I test it in some filthy weather. 

Slightly longer than a mountaineering hard shell (a critical 2cm) it is not so long as to interfere with a harness. This is tricky to get right but Rab have nailed it.

It turns out that every other detail on the jacket is equally well considered. At first, I was a bit cynical about the stingy Velcro cuff closures. I expected them to freeze and ice up in no time at all, but they combine well with the elastic opening to be compatible with most gloves.

I really like the absolutely cavernous and ‘venting’ Napoleon pockets. Offering a neat alternative to pit zips, the vents are positioned at the back of the arms which offers superior air circulation and a through flow ventilation system that actually works. 

The hood is way big enough to get over a lid; yet rolls down or cinches tight when you’re hitting the hill helmet-free. Mitt friendly closures and adjustments can be found throughout. All in all, a really well thought out and stripped ‘back to essentials’ jacket, weighing in at a very packable 532g. When it comes to touring pants, I’m normally strictly a softshell kinda guy but the Kinetic Pants are definitely forcing me to have a re-think. 

An ideal replacement for the Patagonia Descensionist, I gave them a proper challenging test through lockdown (from the door, obvs) in the harshest conditions you could imagine… They breathe really well, yet the Proflex fabric shrugs off the wettest and wildest weather with ease.

Now I may be more ‘form follows function’ than fashionista, but halle-bloody-lujah! It’s great to have a pair of shell pants in a light colour for once as it really helps reflect the heat of the spring sun. 

The details are everything you expect from Rab and their mountaineering pedigree: just the right number of pockets, in all the right places.

Top opening waist pockets keep clear of harness leg loops and the thigh pocket sits below with a neoprene transceiver pouch.

The boot cuff is simple, light and uber-stretchy, so it fits over a closed boot, or skinning boot, with no need for adjustment.

Rab’s Khroma Kinetic jacket and pants may be lightweight but they have everything you need; and nothing you don’t.


JACKET: Ideally suited to highly functional ‘need a shell all day’ missions in burly conditions. PANTS: ideal for ski mountaineers who love the up as much as the down – and are just too busy to change their pants or faff with overtrousers.

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